Embarrassing Sweep Could Determine Path

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Who would've thought the Rangers' 8-2 loss to the Angels on Friday night would've been the high-water mark of a weekend series at home against the hated AL West rival? Turns out, that's exactly what it was.

When the Angels came to town on Friday, they were a half-game ahead of the Rangers for second place in the division. Now, they're 3 1/2 games back of the Angels and 6 1/2 games out of the division lead and the first-place Astros.

And those losses? They were all brutal. That 8-2 was the best one, as crazy as that might seem. The Rangers were beaten 13-0 on Saturday and then responded by losing 12-6 on Sunday as the Rangers' pitching staff hit a new low.

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Unless things turn around in a hurry for the Rangers' struggling pitching staff and struggling lineup, that series sweep could've spelled the end to a hope of being buyers at the July 31 trade deadline and trying to make a push at the postseason this year.

Things could get better as the July schedule shapes up to be a manageable one, starting with two series at home against weak NL West teams before the all-star break next week, but if it continues as is, they could be buried in terms of contending this year by the break.

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